Taking the Long Way travel blog









Entrance to the castle

The castle

View from the castle

On the train to Poland

Slovakia was so difficult to get to that in hindsight I should have just skipped it. Yet after a night out with Nic and Sean I was up at 4.30am to head for the main bus station via the metro. The ticket sellers weren’t open yet so I boarded the metro with fear and trembling that I was going to get fined again but luck was on my side and I rode the rails fare-free with no repercussions this time. The ONLY bus to Bratislava, Slovakia which is only 4 hours from Budapest, leaves at 6.30am which isn’t the time I’d normally like to be catching a bus!

When I arrived there was quite a bit of confusion over how to get to the city centre where I were staying, and at some point I sat in front of a terminating tram for about half an hour before realising that I wasn't actually at a tram stop. Then I overshot my stop and had to walk all the way back….but eventually I got there! The city of Bratislava is kind of dirty and looks a bit like a seedy ghetto to be honest. I’m sure that it didn’t help that it was raining the first day I was there and very overcast the next so didn’t paint the city in a particularly flattering light but it really didn’t excite me.

I took a hike up to the top of the hill on the western side of town above the Danube to visit the Bratislava Castle but due to extensive restoration going on there was more scaffolding than building visible and I wasn't allowed inside. The view from the hill was interesting though, seeing the old and new buildings forming a mixed but manageable existence side by side on either end of the UFO-like New Bridge that spans the city.

One highlight of Slovakia is extremely cheap beer, half a litre of beer costing about $1AUD.

After only two days I'm deserting Slovakia for Poland and its costing an arm and a leg to get out of here. There are no buses and the train is costing $101AUD each for the 6 hour train journey to get to Krakow. Perhaps the exorbitant cost is something to do with the fact that I'm going on 3 different trains, via the Czech Republic, to get there….

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